"The Crystal"

June 29th 2019

Muhammad Hamid Shaddad & Hassan Abdallah & Hashim Ibrahim & Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq & Naiyla Al Tayib & Kalinosi V. Mutale & Chama Kabumbu & Joseph S. Chinunga & Danny Lwando & Paweł Kwiek & Przemysław Kwiek & Karolina Babińska & Łukasz Jastrubczak & Bogna Juchnowicz & Natalia Laskowska & Andrzej Mara & Małgorzata Mazur & Grażyna Monika Olszewska & Rafał Pietrowicz & Alicja Pliszka & Artur Rozen & Iga Świeściak & Zorka Wollny & Kama Sokolnicka & Emanuel Geisser



CentrumCentrum invites you to the event "Crystal", under which will take place:

a) the premiere screening of the first Polish translation of the Crystallist manifesto, written in Khartoum in 1976;

b) presentation of activities that artists gathered in CentrumCentrum, carried out with artists from the affiliated institution - Munandi Art Studio - from Lusaka in Zambia;

c) screening of Pawel Kwiek's film "Conversation with Brother";

d) walk to the place where Kama Sokolnicka and Emanuel Geisser parked their car;



The Crystalists

The Crystalists In 1976, in cultural magazine Al-Ayyam, Muhammad Hamid Shaddad wrote the text of the Crystalist manifesto, under which Hassan Abdallah, Hashim Ibrahim, Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq and Naiyla Al Tayib also signed. Crystalism is an extremely sophisticated and radical aesthetic and philosophical proposition. It breaks forms and structures imposed by the authorities. Blurs the boundaries between nation states, objects, time and space, animated and inanimate matter.
It allows us to look at the essence of things, woven from
a network of relationships, in order to burst it into another semblance in the next moment. According to Crystalism, reality is a result of transparent reflections of semblances and essences. Pleasure is, however, the only category that connects us with reality. It is pleasure that motivates us to all actions. Pleasure mediates in the exchange between us and the world. In 1975, Hamid Shaddad showed his audience the Crystal installation, which consisted of 18 cubic blocks of ice (120x20x20 cm) and plastic bags filled with water colored in various colors. Earlier, while still studying Shaddad, as part of cognitive methods, watching movies in the cinema, he focused only on the color and light layer of the films presented, deliberately not paying much attention to the story. The effect of one of the cognitive exercises - looking closely at changes in brightness and shadows, movement and colors of the constantly changing river current - was the recognition of the "Blue Nile" as a work of art for a period of a month. The"Blue Nile" is a constantly changing system in which there is an infinite number of relationships between bacteria, seaweed, stones, fishermen, tourists, water, fish, trees, ships, ports, transported raw materials. Between the elements of the system, momentary essences are formed, which after a while are transformed into another one. The river drills, waters, lifts ships and logs of wood. By saying - river - we define this system as a single expression, but its essence is extremely numerous and stratified. The essence of the river is elusive, at every moment, for different viewpoints, for each element
of the system, it appears in the crystalline, transparent interpenetration of changing relationships.


The Power of Recycling

In 2017 CentrumCentrum organized a group of people, which to this day is involved in the exchange of artistic gestures with a collective associated around Munandi Art Studio in Ndeke Village Meanwood in Zambia. The principle is as follows. The artists from Munandi created the installation, a photo of which was sent to CentrumCentrum. Then, based on this photograph, the artists gathered in Szczecin, realized the installation, referring to the one created in Nbeke and sent the picture to the artists from Munandi. On the basis of the photo they received, they modified their installation, and then they sent a photo of their refreshed sculpture to Poland so that the CenterCentrum group would be able to respond with a photo of their modified installation. The relationship that was established with this remote institution was possible thanks to internet connections. We've never really been there. We've never heard their voices. Nevertheless, the metal structure that the artists from Munandi Art Studio created, as a result of a correspondence game with the collective from CentrumCentrum, was changing its shape. At some point, it was intentionally burnt by a stranger. The image of a large burning metal structure covered with tires, which resembles a huge egg in its shape, caused a very strong experience in which the feeling of some incredible real effect made on the object situated sowhere distant, combined with a sense of sadness and fear that the installation was deliberately destroyed by someone. Somewhere, very far away, in a different territory, a great sculpture with which we have an direct relation is subject to spectacular destruction. Do we feel the same when we think about gigantic grooves in the earth, in mines located somewhere out of which so important raw materials for us, decisive for the scale of the modernist enterprise come from?





Partners Kama Sokolnicka and Emanuel Geisser plan to travel around Europe for a year and live in a van they have converted into a Camper. Decisions as to the route they will take during the trip will be primarily motivated by accidental meetings with local residents, a suggestion of the area (landscape) that will tempt them to follow its path. They want to drift around Europe, get to know it psychogeographically in 1:1 scale, where the bird's-eye view perspective (maps) will be replaced by their perspective (streetview). In this view, The Earth and what is situated on it, is not reduced to civilizational and natural signs, which are delimited from each other. In such a perspective, the territory is much more multi-faceted, multi-layered, shimmering like in a crystal, in many different reflections. No higher instance arranges the territory in such a manner, does not impose abstract national borders, does not design inaccessible areas, does not rationalize the traveler's choices to direct him to a specific destination. The relationship with the local space becomes much more complex and based on relationships with human and non-human beings.




The End

Is this part of the scientists, who is not working for global capitalism and is claiming the apocalypse, right? It is still quite good. We are not directly affected by any armed conflict, hunger, compulsion of emigration. And I am afraid to write and say that we would allow ourselves pleasure. Let's forget for a moment, that the modernist obsession of progress led us to the abyss. Let's breathe a little. Let's stop and let's lie on the ground. It's nice here. We do not speak, but we listen, we do not think but we feel. We become part of a relational network in which the cockchafer, scented grass, moist soil, bee, spider and peach come to the fore. Atoms of carbon form a perfectly regular structure to create a transparent crystal or brittle coal. How much time it took for the rotting organisms to form these extremely important raw materials.

We are on the banks of the “Pilica” River. Two brothers, Paweł and Przemysław, discuss the subject of reality. It's 1990. End and beginning. The brothers adopt different philosophical positions; Paweł Kwiek, who in the 1980s experienced a mystical insight, sees the purposefulness of living in the perspective of religious transcendence. Przemysław believes in the efficient operation of material temporality. It is warm and pleasant. We hear their conversation in the distance. We do not need to know the truth, we do not need to know who is right. Let us enjoy pleasure, communing with the voices of people, cockchafers, fragrant grass, moist soil, bees, spiders, peaches.